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BraveHeart Discusses Oscar Howe Lecture and Art After the Pandemic on Credit Hour

A closeup shot of Keith BraveHeart with arms crossed. His photo is next to Credit Hour USD alumnus Keith BraveHeart discusses this year's Oscar Howe Lecture, teaching art and how the pandemic has influenced his work on the latest episode of Credit Hour.

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota alumnus Keith BraveHeart joined the podcast, Credit Hour, to discuss delivering this year’s annual Oscar Howe Lecture, teaching art at Oglala Lakota College and how the pandemic has influenced his recent work.

“We know the tensions that are out there—there’s this built up urgency to get that expression outward. How do you do that? Not everybody has a medium to channel that through, so some people have different ways, and maybe they aren’t always totally positive outlets. Art is always going to be a positive outlet,” said BraveHeart. “Even if the expression shapes itself as aggressive or confrontational. Pure art is just being honest.”

BraveHeart is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, changemaker and educator. He grew up on the Pine Ridge reservation, in the community of Medicine Root in Kyle, South Dakota, and is a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Titonwan; Oceti Sakowin. BraveHeart attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexcio, and received his MFA from USD. He is a former student and director of the Oscar Howe Summer Arts Institute held annually at USD. He recently delivered the annual Oscar Howe Lecture at USD this fall.

“When you become an artist, there is no such thing as time. There’s no schedule. You’re creative all the time. If you’re truly a spirited artist—you have to be ready for any moment that might strike," BraveHeart said when discussing the creative process.

BraveHeart’s recent work includes, “We are a Horse Nation, Buffalo Nation: Creating Community” and his current project, "Creation.Story," that shares these narrative beginnings and introduces the Wakan Tanka through visual art forms. Eight Oceti Sakowin artists have been invited to create their representations of each Wakan Tanka relative to accompany a body of work by BraveHeart, "Wakan Tanka" (2018).”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News